There are few things two people can do that requires more teamwork than the task of raising children. And this team approach remains even after a couple decides to separate—their joint commitment to their kids does not end simply when their intimate relationship does.
Understandably, co-parenting as a separated couple can present many unique challenges. Differing opinions and even court-mandated regulations can affect the ability of co-parents to cooperate and coordinate. But it’s in the best interest of the kids and the co-parents to address and resolve conflict efficiently and effectively.
To this end, consulting with a parenting coordinator can be extremely beneficial, especially when co-parents haven’t been successful at conflict resolution on their own.
What is a Parenting Coordinator?
A parenting coordinator is a professional appointed by the court who has been specifically trained to help separating or separated couples design and manage their co-parenting plan. This may be indicated if shared parents are in “high conflict” (arguing frequently about child-rearing and other aspects of their separation), if there is a history of parental substance abuse or family violence, if there are concerns about parental mental health, or if a child has special needs.
To be a parenting coordinator, an individual must be licensed as a psychiatrist, psychologist, behavioral therapist, nurse or nurse practitioner, or attorney. He or she must also undergo additional training. A parenting coordinator’s specific roles and duties will vary depending on factors such as family needs and state law, but generally include things like:
- Evaluating and monitoring the degree to which parents are complying with their co-parenting plan
- Provide support and solutions for resolving conflict
- Assist with decision-making for individual parents (as dictated by the court)
Overall, a parenting coordinator works with the children’s best interest in mind, with the understanding that supporting and educating the co-parents will be one of the most effective ways to do this.
4 Benefits of Working With a Parenting Coordinator
A parenting coordinator provides mediation, psychotherapy, and other helpful strategies for transitioning into a co-parenting situation. Specifically, parenting coordination:
- Can reduce individual and family stress. Even couples who don’t argue in front of their children can feel and sense the emotional strain this creates for everyone. Having a third-party perspective to resolve conflict more efficiently can minimize this tension and make a stressful situation much more manageable.
- Can minimize time spent in the courtroom. Not only does this reduce stress, but it’s more cost-effective, too.
- Gives parents more time to focus on their children. Spending less time in conflict with each other (outside or inside the courtroom) allows parents more time to give the support, attention, and care their children need during times of family transition.
- Improves communication. This is true for communication between co-parents and also communication between other family members. Children, for instance, can learn valuable lessons about effective communication by modeling after their parents.
Interested in learning more about how parenting coordination can help your family? Contact us Couples Thrive today.
Parenting Coordination Fees:
$165/hour for scheduled meetings. An advance retainer to the Parenting Coordinator divided between the parties according to the Order of Referral for his or her share of a total of ten (10) hours of time. The amount of the initial retainer is $1,650.00. The advance retainer shall be used by the Parenting Coordinator for all services including meetings.